Cemetery of the Month: Graceland, Chicago, IL

Founded in 1860, Graceland Cemetery boasts the graves of the well-known (Alan Pinkerton, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marshall Field, Jack Johnson) and the relatively obscure (Augustus Dickens, the younger brother of Charles, and Kate Warn, the national’s first female private detective, employed by Pinkerton).

Sadly, there are no ghosts. None, at least, whose stories are the least credible. Oh, there are rumors of a little girl, Inez Clark, whose statue is said to disappear from its glass case every so often, but the debunking of this story has been discouragingly thorough. For one thing, the body underneath the statue is a young boy named Amos Briggs (although this is disputed), and the statue itself is thought to have been an advertisement, placed in the cemetery by an enterprising sculptor and monument maker, Andrew Gagel.

Advertising in cemeteries . . . an idea whose time will no doubt roll around again. Which is why the body of Ogarita will be tossed into the flames of the nearest crematory, then scattered to the winds or, if possible, in the direction of George Clooney.

In Graceland, one can also visit a delightful statue, Eternal Silence, that stands atop the aptly named and long-deceased Dexter Graves.

Chicago, Illinois Eternal Silence1

Silence is considered one of the Lorado Taft’s most important works, and it’s almost as delicious as the unnamed figure–often referred to as Grief, much to the distress of its sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens–that surmounts the otherwise unmarked grave of Clover and Henry Adams, in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

A favorite stop is the mausoleum of Carrie Eliza Getty, far too elegantly feminine to be considered spooky. Just look at that delicate stonework!

Getty Tomb Graceland Sullivan side window

The cemetery’s website isn’t inspiring, but it lists many of the most well-known or notorious inmates. Numerous websites have pictures of the so-called Inez Clark memorial, and Find A Grave has a lengthy piece on how Inez and Amos first were confused.

Graceland Cemetery: http://www.gracelandcemetery.org/index.html

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